Walking through the death of a loved one is a complicated and difficult time. As a church, Grace feels responsible to shepherd members during this process, specifically through natural burial. Instead of embalming, vaults, and coffins, natural burial is a simple alternative involving a pine box or a shroud. Not only is this better for the environment, it is inexpensive, and most importantly, allows for Grace to support members in a tangible, intimate way.
Since purchasing property in Piedmont, Grace has partnered in the passing of two men, including Donald Banke, the father of Spartanburg member Chip Banke. Donald, who died in September, was buried peacefully in an intimate graveside ceremony, surrounded by the natural serenity of the grounds. Chip’s former community group gathered in support, helping him lower his dad into the ground and fill the grave.
"Grace Church staff were incredibly caring, honoring, respectful, and nurturing in the burial experience with Dad,” Chip says. “I truly felt loved while grieving."
"Seeing and experiencing natural burial and how it brought the Banke family together with our church body is something that I will never forget,” says Spartanburg campus pastor Daniel Black. “Instead of keeping the grieving family at a distance, it allowed for men that Chip has led in community groups to have an opportunity to serve alongside him in the unique season of burying his father. This shared experience absolutely helps our church better care for our members through loss."
The site in Piedmont includes more than 12 acres of peaceful, rolling grounds, which will allow Grace to partner with thousands of members in the burial process. For more information on natural burial, click below, or email Jennifer Dill at [email protected]